125cc or Direct Access

Discussion in 'Cars, Bikes 'n AFVs' started by DB_Cooper, May 8, 2010.

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  1. Just after a bit of advice, i did my CBT about 6 months ago, and i was thinking of buying a 125cc and learning to ride on it for maybe 6-12 months before then having a crack at a direct access course then buying a bigger bike, but a few people have said to me not to bother with the 125cc and crack straight on with a direct access course then get a bigger bike.so just after any advice from experienced riders to see what they think on he matter

  2. The choice is yours mate.

    However I'll give you my experience from a similar point of view.

    Like yourself I went through my CBT and then bought a Honda NSR 125 (de-restricted). Was an awesome little bike (95+mph) and I get nostalgic for it every time I smell a bit of 2stroke in the air.

    I nipped around on it for about 4months and got some decent miles in on it, as it was my only form of transport. Got on a few rides out aswell with bigger bikes, which I managed to keep the other bikes in view but had no chance of keeping up. No one slated me though, you have to start somewhere. Got some good advice and learned a lot aswell, as riding in a pack is a bit different to riding alone I think.

    After this I went on to do my Direct Access course, which I passed with no dramas at all (apart from my test day being a glorius summers day with torential rain and the examiner following me in his car as he didn't want to get wet). The few months I spent on my 125 hitting the roads helped a lot. Although If you leave it too long before going for a test you can develop bad habits. I've got f'ing loads now.

    I went on to buy an R6 and the step up in power was phenomenal! Had a few 'close ones' on my first weekend on it. One was a real eye opener, the others just daft things. Having a little bit of experience in before hand helped me a lot. Also I'd had a few offs on my 125, which is better to have on a smaller bike than a full throttle monster, cash wise and health wise.

    Everyone is different, but I would suggest getting some miles in on a little bike first. A lot of poeple pass there test and can't resist the urge to buy something they are totally uncapable of riding safely and within there limits. Sure they will say they will take it easy, but as soon as they get on it and wind that throttle back some sort of chemical reaction in there brain changes them into lunatics. Speed demons. Usually find them at the side of the road looking at there bike in a hedge while they are scratching there heads and wondering how that happened.

    Just my £0.02 worth.

    Good luck whatever you choose buddy.
  3. I went straight for the DAS, and then got myself a Bandit 600 - a nice step up, not mentally fast, cheap insurance, and bits are cheap if (when, in my case) you drop it.

  4. many thanks guys

  5. If you decide to do the 125 thing. DO NOT buy a new 125. Get a used one in decent condition and depreciation will be almost non existent as long as you look after it. This is important as you will eventually want to change up.


    My advice is to take direct access if you can. In the long run, it will work out cheaper and the tests/restrictions only ever get worse with time so do direct access and do it as soon as you can.

    And then:

    Buy a sensible 600ish bike - not a sports 600. You will have ridden something sensible as the school's loan bike and that should give you a good idea of what is suitable. Again, unless you have a penchant for something very specific - Harley for instance - and intend keeping for ever, buy your first bike used. Buy new after a year or two when you know what you really want.
  6. Although you have completed your CBT you wont have a lot of exsperience of riding bikes as when i did the CBT it consisted of a couple of hours. not like the time you build up when doing you direct access.

    i went on a reiju 125 pro which went up to 90mph (with a little bit of swearing) which is fast enough for the first couple of months. I spent 4 months pottering about on that and then completed the DA. theres no doubt in my mind that riding the 125cc helped me no ends.

    you get a little bit of bike sense which will put you in good stead and considering you can purchase a little run around bike for quite cheap its worth a go.

    good luck either way bud!
  7. Here is my perspective from an Instructors point of view....

    Firstly, you will have to resit your CBT as it is past its expiry date. :police:

    Now the bike....If you have been driving for a number of years and have road awareness, have confidence on a bike of any size, have the physical strength to pick up a bigger bike, then Direct Access may be for you.

    If you are nervous of the road/bike, likely to do a fair amount of picking up bikes at junctions or are a non driver then I would go for running around on a 125 to get experience and confidence.

    I have had both sorts of students go through my sweaty hands, and I can count on one hand the amount of folk that binned a big bike after riding around on a 125 for a few months first, however I would need the hands and feet of someone from Norfolk (for those a little slow, they have more fingers and toes!) to count the numerous people that rushed out and bought bigger bikes and promptly dropped them, run out of road, stuffed them into a car etc.

    Take the advice of your CBT instructor...he should have a good eye for someone who is capable or not.

    Above all though, good luck, ride safe :)
  8. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    2/51. What can you see that I can't? He's had a CBT for 6 months. Its got 18 months to run.

    I did my CBT in Jun 03. Bought a 125 Intruder which I shared with Mrs BA. I took Direct Access lessons between Jul and Nov - a few hours a week, and took the full test in Nov 03. I got myself a Virago in May 04 which I kept until I replaced it with a Bonneville in 08.

    In 2007 I became an Instructor and qualified in Cardington last year.

    The company I worked for preferred people to do Direct Access in a week or so. 3 - days and test day. We would also do.

    Generally the only people we advised not to do direct access were those who are too young or those who were not tall enough to sit safely on the bikes or those who were too scared.

    My own view is that there is something to be said for all the ways of doing it.

    One of the problems of an intensive DAS course is that there is a tendency to teach you to pass the test, as opposed to teaching you to ride a bike. To some extent this has been made worse by the new test. There can be a lot of concentration on getting through the first part which can be to the detriment of just learning to ride on the road.

    The other problem is that you spend a week intensively learning something which you promptly forget the minute you've passed the test.

    On the other hand riding a 125 for a period will increase your handling skills but you could be getting some awful habits. A lot of people don't have accidents because they are lucky not because they are skilled and avoid them. I think most bikers will have had the experience of looking into their blind spots and seeing something they were not expecting just before riding into it. Unfortunately some never take that look. Most of the time there isn't anything there.

    Doing what I did and buying a 125 and taking occasional lessons has the advantage of allowing you to improve your handling skills while getting some lessons to direct you towards the straight and narrow. The big disadvantage is that it you have to buy a bike you are probably not going to keep for too long although you should be able to trade it in for what you paid for it and its going to take longer to achieve.

    Good Luck.
  9. I would suggest direct access as well, if you have the confidence.

    Booked myself on a 5 day training and test and arranged a spanking new Bandit 600 to be waiting for me when I got back to the shop.....a little incentive to pass.

    Just because you are going for the big bike test, does not mean you have to go and buy the lastest sportsbike.

    That little Bandit 600 was a great bike to start on, very forgiving of a new riders little mistakes..rugged..comfortable..plenty powerful enough for day to day and loonger trips.

    Quite possibly the best bike to learn your skills and get experience on.
  10. Any of the 6oo ish non-sports bikes (bandit, GS etc)will be perfectly suitable for all of your UK based daily needs. The UK isn't big enough to do "long distance" riding that requires a bigger bike, nor is the national speed limit fast enough to require a faster bike. The male ego, however, is a powerful force (as a result of which the smallest bike I own (that runs) is 1125cc).

    If you want a recommendation for a good, first bike/everyday bike, seriously consider the model the school put you on to take your direct access test! There will be logic and experience behind their choices.
  11. I was looking into a DA but got quotes in access of £800 is this right?
  12. Yes, £800 sounds about right for a direct access 5 day course.

    If you take it with BMW mottorad training for example you are looking at near enough £1000.

    It is only going to get more complicated and costly the longer you wait, all thanks to those inbreds in the dept of transport etc etc.
  13. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Does the £800 include the cost of the test? If not I think its a bit steep. What part of the country are you in?
  14. This was a quote from a South Coast training Provider, to be fair I travel a lot between London & the South coast so hoping to get a cheaper quote in the capital if thats possible (anybody got any recommendations)

    It's just the thought of training on a bike in the capital that puts thats putting me off!
  15. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Have a chat with Silver Bikes in Havant. Call Leslie on Tel: 023 9241 2800 Mob: 07817836336 Email:

    Howard, the owner is an ex-Crab. They are based near the Asda just off Junction 4 of the A3 (M)